Patiala, May 21
The prestigious “The Patiala Club”, which caters to IAS, IPS, PCS and PPS officers and the elite, faces closure due to alleged financial bungling worth crores. Some members have demanded a Vigilance Bureau probe to unearth the nexus under which crores collected as taxes and catering charges were not deposited in the treasury.
All Bills accounted for
I spent lakhs on construction from my own pocket. The reimbursement in that regard is still pending. I have invested a lot in the club and allegations against me are false. All taxes and bills are accounted for. Gagandeep Maini, UK caterers’ proprietor
The scam came to light in 2021 and the erring caterer (UK Caterers) was served a notice. “The caterer had no business to issue slips, collect cash or make new members. The collected fee was never deposited. Illegal construction was undertaken on the club premises,” read the document.
Situated in the Baradari Gardens areas, the club is running into losses and faces closure. The district administration has ordered a probe. “After we raised the issue, an advisory committee was formed. The scam runs into crores and a thorough probe is needed into tax evasion and money being usurped,” said Neeraj Goyal, who was made a member of the committee.
As per the show-cause notice, the caterer took lakhs as loan for various works on the club premises, but did not return the money. “Tax on liquor served to members on the club premises was never deposited with the authorities. Outsiders were allowed at cultural events held in the club without any permission or authority,” it was alleged.
Recently, the Deputy Commissioner’s office sought a detailed report as regards marriages, exhibitions and parties held on the club premises. “Despite our repeated reminders and show-cause notices issued to you, no reply has been given nor any money deposited with the government,” reads a recent letter sent to UK Caterers.
“You are requested to file a detailed reply on May 26 as action has been recommended against you for violating the club rules,” reads the notice by the SDM office.
Some members alleged that local politicians were pressuring members not to pursue the matter. “A Vigilance Bureau probe should be initiated against the caterer to recover the money and ensure that it is deposited in the club accounts,” they said.
Patiala Deputy Commissioner Sakshi Sawhney said they had sought a detailed report on the issue. “The SDM office is probing the matter and action will be taken as per the report,” she said.
UK Caterers’ proprietor Gagandeep Maini said he would reply to all allegations on May 26. “I spent lakhs on construction from my own pocket. The reimbursement in that regard is still pending,” he claimed.
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